Mosaic Expression of Thyroid Hormone Regulatory Genes Defines Cell Type-Specific Dependency in the Developing Chicken Cerebellum

Joke Delbaere, Stijn L J van Herck, Nele M A Bourgeois, Pieter Vancamp, Shuo Yang, Richard J T Wingate, Veerle M. Darras*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The cerebellum is a morphologically unique brain structure that requires thyroid hormones (THs) for the correct coordination of key cellular events driving its development. Unravelling the interplay between the multiple factors that can regulate intracellular TH levels is a key step to understanding their role in the regulation of these cellular processes. We therefore investigated the regional/cell-specific expression pattern of TH transporters and deiodinases in the cerebellum using the chicken embryo as a model. In situ hybridisation revealed expression of the TH transporters monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) and 10 (MCT10), L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) and organic anion transporting polypeptide 1C1 (OATP1C1) as well as the inactivating type 3 deiodinase (D3) in the fourth ventricle choroid plexus, suggesting a possible contribution of the resulting proteins to TH exchange and subsequent inactivation of excess hormone at the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. Exclusive expression of LAT1 and the activating type 2 deiodinase (D2) mRNA was found at the level of the blood–brain barrier, suggesting a concerted function for LAT1 and D2 in the direct access of active T3 to the developing cerebellum via the capillary endothelial cells. The presence of MCT8 mRNA in Purkinje cells and cerebellar nuclei during the first 2 weeks of embryonic development points to a potential role of this transporter in the uptake of T3 in central neurons. At later stages, together with MCT10, detection of MCT8 signal in close association with the Purkinje cell dendritic tree suggests a role of both transporters in TH signalling during Purkinje cell synaptogenesis. MCT10 was also expressed in late-born cells in the rhombic lip lineage with a clear hybridisation signal in the outer external granular layer, indicating a potential role for MCT10 in the proliferation of granule cell precursors. By contrast, expression of D3 in the first-born rhombic lip-derived population may serve as a buffering mechanism against high T3 levels during early embryonic development, a hypothesis supported by the pattern of expression of a fluorescent TH reporter in this lineage. Overall, this study builds a picture of the TH dependency in multiple cerebellar cell types starting from early embryonic development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCerebellum (London, England)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Nov 2015


  • Brain development
  • Cerebellum
  • Chicken
  • Deiodinases
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Transporters


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